In contemporary discussions about the future of artificial intelligence we often lose our heads. While economists offer bleak predictions of mass job losses and a deepening of already widespread precarity, Silicon Valley utopians insist that new technologies are bringing us ever closer together and will one day deliver us from work, disease and poverty. But when human life is reduced to a set of rational processes waiting to be optimized, we risk losing sight of the irreducible quality of human experience. The talk shed new light on the dream of machinery and the entailed dichotomy of liberation versus control. With his characteristic attention to the subtleties of the human condition, Robert Skidelsky offered a challenging account of what it means to pursue the good life in the age of the machines.
Lord Robert Skidelsky is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick. His three volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes (1983, 1992, 2000) received numerous prizes, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for International Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations Prize for International Relations. He is the author of The World After Communism (1995) (American edition titled The Road from Serfdom), Money and Government (2018), and What’s Wrong with Economics? (2020). He has just completed The Human Condition in the Age of Automation. Robert Skidelsky was made a life peer in 1991 and elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1994.
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